I had a combination of crazy oil fanatics and everyone’s favorite drill sergeant: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman running through my head while I prepared for today’s swim training.  I knew what I was about to go through, it was 600y of full on drills.  This isn’t a long distance, but it would be a full effort today.  I started with a simple 2×50 warm up – and then the fun began…  1×50 left arm only, 1×50 right arm only.  Now, one arm swimming is no easy task.  But, during this drill it is easier to focus on your catch and pull, more than if you were trying to focus on it with both arms.  You are moving slowly, but each stroke is powerful – assuming you are focusing on the catch and pull correctly.

Next up was 1×100 fist drill.  The goal of the fist drill is to feel the pull with your forearms, rather than your hands.  I have been told that you have the same amount of surface area on your forearms as you do on your hands… so you must concentrate on a strong forearm pull, rather than sliding the forearm to get a more efficient stroke.  —  The struggle here is that by not using your hands, you are moving at a slower pace.  So, your 100y times fall pretty far while doing this drill.  (Side note: it is never an ego boost when you are swimming next to someone who you think you are keeping up with, when all of the sudden you notice that the last 300y they have been doing fist drills.  Once they switch to regular pace, you quickly realize how fast they are)

Following the fist drill, my plan had me doing a 2×50 catch up drill.  This drill has you waiting to make the pull until your previous arm reaches full extension… (you look like you are trying to be superman before you start your next pull).  This drill is a challenge for me.  I want to keep my arms moving, so sitting there, waiting for the previous stroke to reset before starting the next one is difficult.  It does force me to focus on the glide and the extension, so that is a good thing.

Finally – I ended the workout by doing a 4×50 @ 50sec.  My goal is to finish each 50y in 38-42 seconds.  This then gives me 8-12 seconds before I start the next 50y.  The faster I go, the longer I have to rest.  My normal relaxed pace is 48 seconds, so you can see I am pushing it to do 4×50 @ 50sec if I want any rest.

With that, I called it a day.  I felt great today.  I love my pool days.  Of course, when the workouts start calling for 1200y workouts, I may start to change my tune about my love for the pool!

Today’s workout:

Plan: 600y swim – Drills

Actual: 600y – great day.